The design of the currently used Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) has been optimized to attain maximum protection against ballistic impacts (fragments, shrapnel, etc.) and hard-surface collisions. However, the ability of the ACH to protect soldiers against blast loading appears not to be as effective. Polyurea, a micro-segregated elastomeric copolymer has shown superior shock-mitigation capabilities. In the present work, a combined Eulerian/Lagrangian transient non-linear dynamics computational fluid/solid interaction analysis is used to investigate potential shock-mitigation benefits which may result from different polyurea-based design augmentations of the ACH. Specific augmentations include replacement of the currently used suspension-pad material with polyurea and the introduction of a thin polyurea internal lining/external coating to the ACH shell. Effectiveness of different ACH designs was quantified by: (a) establishing the main forms of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI); (b) identifying the key mechanical causes for these injuries; and (c) quantifying the extents of reductions in the magnitude of these mechanical causes. The results obtained show that while the ACH with a 2-mm-thick polyurea internal lining displays the best blast mitigation performance, it does not provide sufficient protection against mTBI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering